Where to start?
This entire episode was really well written, beautifully crafted, and swept us all along to the finish. Despite there being a lack of action (not a criticism, I think it’s nice the action was loaded into the first part, and the second was about the consequences), there was nothing lacking.
I love, love, loved the bits where the Doctor was flying in and out of time. Figuring out that he had the mop, then he needed to block the door, then he needed his sonic screwdriver, and the drink! Brilliant. Stuff like that makes my day. Time travel, how it works, the intricate things you have to think about, that all makes Doctor Who for me.
The bigger story, the TARDIS exploding and the universe disappearing was a bit confusing. They never really said what happened, why the TARDIS exploded etc, which meant you were always a little behind watching what they were doing. However, the end of the episode suggested that this is an ongoing question. An arc crossing to another series – interesting.
A couple of particular moments that I loved – when the Doctor was confronted with two Amy’s and particularly when he said: “Come along Ponds.” I love that. The Fez was great. “Fez’s are cool.” When he checked for legs, a bow tie, and a… “Oh, well, I can get a Fez.”
I am very impressed with all the people who suggested that the Doctor who talked to Amy in Flesh & Stone was not that current Doctor but maybe one from a different time. It WAS a different time, it was our Doctor. That pretty much blew my mind. Firstly, that people noticed. Secondly, that it turned out to be true. Thirdly, that they really had crafted this entire series with the full story in mind. Again, beautiful work.
Perhaps the ending was a bit too easy. I made a note saying: “If she can remember her family back, surely she can remember him back too?” And then she did. But the way she remembered, and the way he came back made up for the predictable nature of it.
“Something borrowed, something blue.”
“He is LATE for my wedding!”
The Doctor is always late.
Which leads me on to the incredible acting this episode. Rory was amazing. At the start of the episode, confusion, pain, remorse, loyalty, dedication. Intense. I grabbed the screenshot above as it happened, and I felt it was an iconic image when I saw it. As it turns out, Rory waiting for 2,000 years was about as important as you could get.
I was only slightly annoyed that Amy had to do the “why am I crying” thing again, but as she worked through her memories, I was mesmorised. That feeling, where you know there is something you should be remembering, but what is it? When it’s something as important as the Doctor, I can’t begin to imagine how it gnaws at you.
Finally, Matt Smith was stunning. To go from a Doctor who believes he is gone, to realise he’s fine, and then no, it really is all over, that he is just on borrowed time… it is reminiscent of what happened at the end of David Tennant’s reign. The acting was just as strong from both players. Smith made the great transition, though, from the pain of disappearing from history, to the Doctor that dances really badly at weddings. Seriously, that was worse than dad dancing, wasn’t it? Nice hat though.
Interestingly, when Rory was first introduced, I was sure that he would only last a couple of episodes because it never works with more than one companion. Now I’m hoping that he might stick around, because the three of them in the TARDIS have a great dynamic.